I confirm that there is an obligation in place for manufacturers to notify the Office for Product Safety and Standards. I will come on to how the database will work further on in my speech.[This section has been corrected on
Within the office, we are applying lessons from regulators such as the Food Standards Agency, which is a national regulator that deals with significant volumes of product incidents and provides national scientific expertise to local authorities. So we are not creating something new; we are learning the lessons from previous regulators to ensure that the office works properly. We are also applying the lessons learned from international comparators—the OECD and American counterparts—and we are in the process of building national capacity.
Through the OPSS, the Government have already led the development of a code of practice for product recalls and corrective actions, working with the British Standards Institution. The code provides greater clarity for businesses on what they should do in such cases. It also provides a framework for local authorities when they engage with businesses to support and enforce programmes of corrective action.
There was a question about how the OPSS will support trading standards officers. I can confirm that so far, more than 250 local authority officers have received training on the new code and as a result they are now better equipped to deal with incidents.